It seems that Samsng has again come out with a device that at first does not make any sense when you first hear about it. The most recent one is the Galaxy Note 5.3 with a stylus. While the idea of a stylus is not new, it takes some getting used to the idea of a smart phone containing one. Yesterday, news broke that Samsung had announced the Samsung Galaxy Beam as a new smart phone which includes a projector as part of the phone. While this is not the first time this has been put out there, it is still one that is going to require getting used to the idea of one being included in today’s smart phone. My first thought of the name and what the phone includes reminded me of Star Trek which is probably not the kind of idea one would want to have associated with a smart phone.
Beam me up!
It seems that the idea is not new and it was Samsung who announced essentially the same concept back in 2010. Back then, it did not get very far and seems to have disappeared from view until this most recent announcement. It has what looks like the eye from a cyclops from movies of the past and puts out 15-lumen picture for viewing on a screen or wall up to 50 inches in size. It is only 12.5mm thick making it much smaller than one might think given what it is providing.
Samsung in claiming that you can get about three hours when projecting video from the phone. The actual resolution is stated as 640 by 360 which seems to work out to be about half of what you might get from 720 HD. Reports on the Beam have the phone speaker not being of much value when showing this with a group of people. Of course, Samsung will be offering a dock with an included speaker to address this limitation.
This is a new concept which they are presenting and there is no specifics as to when it might be launched or what the pricing might be. Since the previous version of a Samsung phone containing a projector did not make it beyond Asia, we do not know when or if it will make its way to the US. At the moment, there are no plans to produce a CDMA version of the phone, so that leaves Verizon and Sprint out of the picture.